The Acting Traffic Police Director ,Lawrence Niwabiine, says that as police they are concerned and worried about the health of their manpower that execute their daily duties in an environment that exposes them to the polluted air.
The Uganda Police wants the health
scientists to quickly carry out research on the likely challenges to be faced by
their personnel deployed on roads to enforce traffic rules amidst the harmful
air polluted by the old vehicles driven by members of the public.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), report 2019, Uganda ranks third among the highest polluted countries
in Africa that have the most dangerously contaminated air.
The same report highlights that
pollution is one of the key silent killers around the world, estimating that
seven million people die annually as a result of living with polluted air.
The Acting Traffic Police Director, Commissioner Lawrence Niwabiine, says that as police they are concerned and worried about
the health of their personnel that execute their daily duties in an environment
that exposes them to the polluted air.
Niwabiine says that the intervention
of health scientists by producing evidence backed findings would help to come up with a solution for the
traffic officers deployed for over six to eight hours daily in a highly air
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The WHO research conducted by the
Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, indicates that hazardous air that originates from
dust, car engines,
fires and complex chemical reactions emitted from industries in a high
concentration poses a serious threat to human health.
Among the feared diseases that come
with the exposure to the hazardous air pollution are asthma, heart disease and
Niwabiine says that it’s difficult
to avoid health challenges related to exposure to pollution due to the nature
of their job; however, they need to find a mechanism of minimizing the risks
with support of the health scientists.
Meanwhile Dr.Olive Kobusingye,
senior Research fellow trauma and disability from Makerere University College
of health sciences department of disease control and environmental health, says
that it’s important to support the traffic police given the long hours they
spend on roads under the polluted environment.
Kobusingye says that as scientists
who carry out research they need not to stop at road crashes but also interest
themselves into the health of the traffic enforcers that inhale the polluted
air while on duty.
She says that the school already has
a research indicating that there are very high levels of pollution along the
roads in Uganda that needs to be followed.
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police has over 2,000 officers that are deployed on roads daily to enforce the
traffic rules for road safety however, as they execute their duties that
involve long hours of standing on road sides, many are exposed to the air
pollution that mostly comes from the vehicles, dust
reactions emitted from industries which impacts on their health.